Too few women at the top : the causations and potential solutions for gender inequality in upper management.
Crom, Anne Maraike.
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The first part of the thesis identifies and closely investigates the persisting challenges to women’s professional advancement. Stubborn social traditions and the rigidity of the current business structure, which favors linear-careers, help to explain why few women reach the upper echelons of business. The business case for women in management is presented and a number of ways in which female contribution in upper management benefits the firm are outlined, including: increased innovation, better decision-making, a greater understanding of consumer preferences and higher profitability. A strong management team can be created if the company embraces the differences in leadership style between the genders. The classical model of economic theory, as well as discrimination theories are presented and their limitations observed. This examination shows that existing theories help explain much of the basic human market behavior; however, do not fully explain or address why women are under-represented in the upper echelons of businesses. The second part of the thesis provides potential solutions to the issue of continued female underrepresentation at the top. It observes measures that have been taken and suggests steps that can be taken by the public sector, the private sector and individuals in order to remedy some of the persisting barriers to women.
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